How to Maintain a Checking Account

Sep 11


Tony Shepard

Tony Shepard

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Checking accounts can become confusing coupled with charges and fees. This guide will help you to understand the in's and the out's of checking.

It is no secret that many people don't know how to maintain their checking account. They write checks and use their debit cards,How to Maintain a Checking Account Articles make deposits and withdraw cash but don't do anything else. Maintaining your checking account is necessary to avoid any charges or fees associated with overdraft and negative marks on credit reports as a result.

Checking account is just series of deposits and withdrawals. To maintain a checking account means to keep track of all the transactions and reconcile the account at the end of each month. Keeping track means writing down each transaction into the check register. This includes both deposits, debit card transactions and withdrawals made by check, at an ATM. Calculating the available balance is necessary to avoid overspending and accruing overdraft fees. It is not enough to just check the account balance every couple of days. Checks can take from 2 to 5 days to clear the account. This means that the available balance may be less than what it shows in the account. However, if you keep track of the transaction you take the outstanding checks into consideration and will not continue spending the money if the balance is not enough to cover the purchases. If you bounce a check or two by accident, your bank may extend a courtesy to you and refund up to 2 fees. They usually will not do more than once a year.

It is easy to find out which transactions have cleared the account. All financial institutions offer online banking services. You can log into your account and see the history. Telephone banking is similar and will give you the last transactions and the balance. If you have no access to these options, stop at a branch and ask a teller to print out the recent history of your account.

When you receive your monthly statement, take a few minutes to reconcile your account. If you've been keeping track of the transactions, this should not take longer than a few minutes. There is an easy step-by-step guide on the back of the statement on how to do this. Check the statement to make sure there are no unexpected transactions or fees. The balance on the statement should match the balance in your checkbook register plus the outstanding checks and transactions.

Keep in mind that bouncing checks will reflect negatively on your credit record and your relationship with the financial institution. The bank keeps track of your account. When it comes to receiving some perks, such as rewards on debit card transactions or lower rates on loans, you may not be eligible due to the poor standing of your account. The bank may even close your account if you have too many bounced checks. Other financial institutions may not open a checking account for you based on the information reported by your current bank.

By doing these simple procedures you will never have a bounced check and will maintain your checking account.

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